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Our plan, to track all incidents of taser torture against black folks....

Have you or a member of your family ever been tasered by the police? Was it reported in the newspaper, police report, or other news outlet? Write: TasedWhileBlack@gmail.com and tell us what happened. Want to make a donation to Tasered While Black? Write us at: TasedWhileBlack@gmail.com We will be glad to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another black man killed By TASERING

What We Think About Taser Abuse


Another black man killed. This time Gregory Rold Dies After Police Shoot Him With a Taser

As reported by Villager at the blog Electronic Village, he reports the sad news of another taser-related death in America.20th taser-related death at the hands of police officers since the beginning of the calendar year. Here is the initial report:
This is the


Salem man dies after police shoot him with a Taser
by
Stephen Beaven, The Oregonian

A purported trespasser died Saturday night after he was shot with a Taser as Salem police officers tried to arrest him.

Gregory Rold, 37, died at Salem Hospital shortly before 9:30 p.m., police said today.



Officers were called to an apartment on Royvonne Avenue SE in Salem about 7:38 p.m. following a report of a man who was trespassing. They encountered Rold, who resisted arrest, prompting officers to shoot him with a Taser and beat him with their batons. After he was handcuffed, officers said Rold was unconscious.

Four officers were placed on administrative leave while Rold's death is being investigated.

More HERE

What We Think About Taser Abuse
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Taser torture in America - Body Count 20 for 2009... So far

What We Think About Taser Abuse

My man, Villager of at the blog, The Electronic Village is reporting on the continued loss of life with 20 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States.


His blog has been pointing out incidents of police taser torture for quite awhile. The work done over the past few years by Patti Gillman and Cameron Ward inspired his post. Gillman and Ward documented over 400 taser-related deaths in North America on their blog. Check out The Electronic Village blog and the list of 20 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States HERE.

Don't forget to visit us regularly here at
Tasered While Black
for detailed updates of blacks who get Tasered While Black in America and Canada.



What We Think About Taser Abuse
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

April Griffin, Tasered While Black, Beaten, and abused ?

What We Think About Taser Abuse

Hat Tip to Antoinette over at her new blog, Antoinette's "Point of View," She is reporting on the awful situation of violence against women, in particular as it applies to April Griffin, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Antoinette writes about how
"Vice-President Joe Biden's 1994 law for Violence against Women Act does not apply to April Griffin, in Milwaukee" More HERE



April Griffin

[4aprilgriffinnetwork.jpg]

This is a case that was started over two years ago. It was reported by Diana Sroka in a local newspaper that, "Two weeks after a Milwaukee County judge awarded sole custody of a 10-month-old boy to his father, the child's mother remains jailed for refusing to reveal the baby's whereabouts. April Griffin, 28, of Milwaukee has been in jail since mid-May for contempt for refusing to tell Circuit Judge Michael D. Guolee where to find the baby, Jesse. More HERE

UPDATE: Time on-line has been following the case saying it is "The case of the missing Milwaukee baby, and the mother who chose eight months of jail over joint custody." News accounts were that the baby, malnourished and with two broken bones, has been found, and the mother, 29-year-old April Griffin, is back in jail, only this time she's facing felony charges that could keep here there for four years or more. Blogtalk Radio host Queen Ifama on Blog Talk Radio has been following the case and reports on the status of the case of April Griffin

The Times reports Griffin attracted a legion of supporters last year with her desperate refusal to accept a judge's order that her son's father be given a chance to share custody. She sent the boy into hiding in May 2007 and showed up at the Milwaukee County courthouse and told District Judge Michael Goulee to go ahead and put her in jail. He did just that and sent deputies searching her family members' homes, threatening to arrest anyone found helping hide the child. But as the months passed, nothing changed. Griffin remained in jail, and her son, Jesse Moses Griffin-Sebuliba, remained missing.

When Goulee released Griffin earlier this year, citing her fast-deteriorating health in jail, he did so with a warning. The child, he said, "will be found. And he will be found with someone, and that someone will be charged with a crime." The patience of the law won out in the end. Last Friday night, Milwaukee police, acting on a tip about the location of 2-year-old Jesse, entered an apartment on North Richards Street. They found the boy in his mother's arms.

It's not clear whether she had been living with her son or was only visiting when police arrived. But when they showed up, officers asked Griffin if the boy she was holding was her missing son. She refused to answer, according to a formal complaint filed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney. "The defendant refused to respond or identify the baby boy," according to an affidavit from Milwaukee police detective Christopher Moews. "As he and other officers engaged Griffin in conversation, she began putting clothes on the boy and stated she was going to leave with the child," the complaint reads. She told the detective, "Don't you [expletive deleted] touch me," and attempted to walk past him. "Don't you [expletive deleted] touch my baby."


Police say Griffin then wrapped her arms about Jesse so tightly that they feared for the toddler's safety. "She pulled the baby into her chest like a bear hug. She then turned away from officers while bending over at the waist, turning her body in an attempt to prevent the officers from taking the child." When another officer stepped in, Griffin began swinging back and forth urgently, causing Jesse to begin to cry and his head to lurch violently back and forth, the complaint reads. "The detective was concerned that the baby would not be able to breathe. Using force, he and another officer were able to get the child away from the defendant." At that point, police say, Griffin reached for her purse, and police used a Taser gun and a pepper-spray-like weapon to subdue her. More HERE

AAPP: Sounds like the police and the courts are on the wrong side of the law on this one. the judge in this case seems to be out of control. What do you think?

More links to the story below. The question remains, who beat the baby, the mother of father?


From the Archive: The April Griffin Case Part 1

From the Archive: The April Griffin Case Part 2


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Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Haven Ct. Taser debate focuses on recordings

William Kaempffer, goes on to write, That’s the framework of a new debate over equipping officers with the handheld stun gun: With only about a third of department officers currently issued them, is it smarter policy to maximize deployment by purchasing the basic police model ,or equip half as many officers with expensive upgraded one that includes audio and video recording that skeptics say increase police accountability.

About 150 officers now have them and the last 50 were purchased without cameras, a revelation that sparked concern from some aldermen, who expressed displeasure about not being consulted and wondered whether that would undermine public support for the tools.

In a letter to the chief, Alderman Alex Rhodeen, chairman of the public safety committee, wrote that purchasing Tasers without the video equipment was “unacceptable” given the lengthy deliberations and effort put in by a local task force that examined ways to minimize the use of deadly force by
police. They recommended the purchase of Tasers in 2006, but the camera component was a major part of the discussion to help appease segments of the community concerned that police would abuse the weapon. More HERE

Tasered While Black Publisher says: The Taser debate in New Haven could be instructive for the nation. We will be following this debate in the upcoming weeks and months.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Taser Torture In Fort Worth, Texas

H/T to Eddie Griffin and the folks in Fort Worth, Texas for
"Taking it to the next level"



Eddie Griffin


OHCHR-UNOG
Committee against Torture
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone Number (41-22) 917-9000
Fax Number (41-22) 917-9006
E-mail to urgent-action@ohchr.org


RE: Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984, entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27

PART I, Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On May 4, 2009, the Fort Worth chapters of the Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the community-based Carver Heights East Association, convened a joint press conference and prayer vigil outside City Hall for the families of Michael Jacobs, Jr., Noah Lopez, and Carolyn Daniels.

These families were interviewed by WFAA New 8 TV. (See Prayers for end to Taser use by police, reference http://www.wfaa.com/video/index.html?nvid=358374&shu=1)

In an article by Peter Gorman of the Fort Worth Weekly, entitled “US: Torture by Taser” (Ref. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12455), published June 24, 2005, the author details two prior taser deaths in Fort Worth. Robert Guerrero, who was apprehended in a petty burglary, was stunned for 10 seconds, “double the normal length of time”. In the next minute, Guerrero was jolted three more times with five-second blasts. When he stopped breathing and could not be revived, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office later listed the cause of death as heart failure brought on by “acute cocaine overdose”. But a member of the Medical Examiner’s staff —who asked not to be named — told Fort Worth Weekly that “the amount of cocaine found in Guerrero’s blood would not normally have caused him to have heart failure.”

The other Fort Worth Taser victim, Midland architect Eric Hammock, died in April 3, 2005 after he ran from police, tried to take on an officer, and ended up suffering heart failure — like Guerrero, after getting hit repeatedly with a Taser while he had cocaine in his system. The medical examiner’s report, released on April 28, showed that Hammock suffered from heart disease and that he was jacked way up on cocaine. The official cause of death, in layman’s terms, was heart failure caused by cocaine intoxication. As in the Guerrero case, the Taser was not considered a contributing factor in Hammock’s death, despite the multiple jolts he had received.

According to Amnesty International, between 2001 and 2004 more than 70 deaths occurred in the United States and Canada to people in police custody within hours or days of their being hit with a Taser. By 2005, those kinds of deaths reached 103 just by March — and there were at least two additional deaths in April, including Eric Hammock’s in Fort Worth. Michael Jacobs, Jr. was reported to be # 405.

Here is the numeric chronological listing of taser deaths by the Fort Worth Police Department, along with date of death and age of victim.

#81 November 2, 2004: Robert Guerrero, 21, Fort Worth, Texas
#109 April 3, 2005: Eric Hammock, 43, Fort Worth, Texas
#130 June 24, 2005: Carolyn Daniels, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
#214 August 23, 2006: Noah Lopez, 25, Fort Worth, Texas
#405 April 18, 2009: Michael Jacobs Jr., 24, Fort Worth, Texas

As of this date, May 6, 2009, the investigation into the death Michael Jacobs, Jr. continues. Here was a mentally ill young man, distraught, and refusing to take his medication. His family called for the assistance of the authorities and medical personnel. But EMS (Emergency Medical personnel) was, instead, sent away from the scene. They were called back nearly an hour later while Jacobs was in the process of dying.

TASER International, Inc., the manufacturer of the Electronic Control Devices (ECDs), has been careful and meticulous to disassociate its weapons from causation of death, although these instruments emit up to 50,000 volts of electricity through the human body. Besides this, the company has repeatedly boasted that no Taser has ever been proven to be a “direct cause” of a fatality, a statistic that has not gone unnoticed by the new Fort Worth chief of police, Jeff Halstead, who hails from Phoenix, a few miles from Scottsdale, home of the taser producing corporation.

In its strategy to win the hearts and minds of the public, TASER set out to “gain market acceptance, establish and expand direct and indirect distribution channels”, through its “ability to attract and retain the endorsement of key opinion-leaders in the law enforcement community.”

Secondly, TASER has waged an intense propaganda and legal battle against the press. The company sued newspaper publisher Gannett Co. for libel, arguing that it published a series of articles that misled readers about the safety of its products.

“Taser will use litigation in any way it possibly can to persuade the public that these stun guns don't hurt people,” said Robert Haslam, a Fort Worth, Texas lawyer and chair of AAJ's Taser Litigation Group. “There seems to be a lot of smoke, but Taser says there's no fire.”

Robert Haslam is misinformed, as well as Chief Jeff Halstead, who has, in turn, misinformed the public about the danger of tasers. A San Jose federal jury awarded the family of Robert Heston, Jr. an amount of $6 million against Taser International on the grounds that the company “failed to warn police that its stun guns could be dangerous when used on people under the influence of drugs or in conjunction with chest compressions”…. this award was a Product Liability award against Taser international, the “stun gun” manufacturer.

More recently, the company has fought back, forcing some medical examiners to change their autopsy reports on taser-related deaths.

In Taser Intl., Inc. v. Chief Med. Examr. of Summit Co., Ohio, No. CV 2006-11-7421, Taser International, Inc. sued a county medical examiner to remove any mention of the device from the autopsy reports of three men who died after being shot with the Taser, and the court sided with the company.

Judge Ted Schneiderman, of the Summit County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, found: “There is simply no medical, scientific, or electrical evidence to support the conclusion that the Taser X26 had anything to do with the death of Dennis S. Hyde, Richard Holcomb, or Mark D. McCullaugh. The medical examiner failed to present any evidence on the use and effect of Taser devices.”

THEREFORE:

WE CHARGE that TASERS ARE TORTURE, as defined by the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

WE CHARGE that Tasering is “an act by which severe pain and suffering” is “intentionally inflicted”, willfully and knowingly that these devices emit 50,000 volts, more than enough to electrocute anyone on the spot.

WE CHARGE that Tasering has caused more than 400 deaths in the United States since 2001 to victims who, otherwise, would not have been given a death sentence, and in many cases, totally innocent of any offense.

WE CHARGE that TASER International is deceiving the public, public officials, and politicians with its non-lethal or less-the-lethal claim, giving civilian law enforcement the false assurances that its product is not deadly.

WE CHARGE that TASER International has used strong arm tactics against the press, against medical examiners, and anyone else who might causally taint its devices with “direct cause” of death.

WE CHARGE that TASER International has created a lexicon of its own to obscure real cause-effect relationship in taser-related fatalities. This includes the creation of the “Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome”, since after tasing, a subject is taken into custody. In theory, it is “excited delirium” of an agitated state while being taken into custody that the subject has a seizure and dies. This is nothing more than legal babble designed to disassociate the manufacturer from liability of its product.

WE CHARGE that TASER International, Inc. and its supporters, backers, and investors are insensitive in not recognizing the innocent victims killed by its weapon. They assume no responsibility, nor do they express sympathy to the families.

WE CHARGE that TASERs have been used to inflict punishment on subject or to force compliance. In most of these instances, either no crime was committed by the subject, or the offenses are minor. They have tasered children with behavioral problems, women (some pregnant), and men (mostly minorities).

WE CHARGE that the Tasered Victims of Fort Worth were of minority persuasion. When more pain and suffering is intentional inflicted, disproportionately upon minorities, that also constitute TORTURE.

IN CONCLUSION: The U.S. government is TASER International’s largest customer, which is why our appeal to Washington, D.C. has been in vain. Hereby, we have exhausted all avenues to petition our government for redress to the above grievances.


Presented by Eddie Griffin (BASG), AfroSpear and Afrosphere Action Coalition

More on Taser Torture & Death Cases in Fort Worth, Texas, USA HERE




Monday, May 4, 2009

Anger in Texas, Killing of Black Man causes cautionary words

"If you kill one more black man, I guarantee you we'll tear this whole damn city down,"
says New Black Panther Party.


Black Panthers News Conference Ends Peacefully



Davd Ingram, of station KBMT12 reports that New Black Panthers leader Quanell X spoke to about 300 people on Monday. He called a press conference in front of the Lumberton Police Department and talked for a half-hour about the death of 35-year-old Kevin LaDay.

Quanell X said the Lumberton Police beat LaDay to death last Thursday morning and he told the crowd that this behavior wouldn't be tolerated.

"If they kill another black man," said a heated Quanell X." We will take this damned town down."

It was those heated words that almost resulted in fights. But law enforcement controlled the entire protest and there were no reports of any injuries or arrests. More HERE

More HERE:



Please sign the petition against Taser Torture In America - A Call For Congressional Hearings

Tasering is more than Black and White

What We Think About Taser Abuse


The Tasering issue is gaining national attention.

There are many people who are signing the petition to call for Congressional Hearings on Taser Torture in the United States. Here is an example of the debate going on, even on the petition drive:

Alan S. of Newport, RI says:

EVERYONE regardless of color, race, etc. is subject to being Tased. STOP with the black, latino, etc. I am a WHITE MAN, former police officer, and I was tased on my own property, shot in the neck and experienced this torture. Waterboarding, which I voluntarily agreed to do for writing an article is NOT TORTURE, being Tased is, and it is being done in our own backyards, our streets, our homes many times for NO REASON. It is the worst pain I have ever felt, I have no idea how these are allowed to be used on American Citizens, OF EVERY RACE AND COLOR. Read More HERE and sign the petition


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